The International Rescue Committee has decried the missile attack in Hroza.
A Russian missile struck cafe and grocery store in Hroza, a village in the Kupiansk district of the northeastern region of Kharkiv on Thursday, October 5, 2023.
A total of 51 people died, including a child born in 2017, and six people were wounded.
The IRC’s Ukraine country Director, Marysia Zapasnik, said, targeting civilians “goes against the principles of humanity.”
The IRC said in a statement that it had witnessed an increased number of attacks on critical infrastructure, even in places which had previously been considered relatively safe.
“Intense shelling and deaths caused by landmines and other unexploded ordnance are now a daily reality,” it said.
“As temperatures plummet, Ukraine will likely suffer from intensified barrages of missile strikes, and a more widespread destruction. The combination of ongoing conflict, destroyed infrastructure, and harsh weather conditions can make life incredibly tough for the people in affected areas.”International Rescue Committee
Yousuf Syed Khan, a senior lawyer at Global Rights Compliance who is assisting Ukraine’s public prosecutor in building a war crimes case against Russia, denounced the strike.
“Today’s senseless attack against a cafe in Hroza village, where a memorial service was being held, is among the deadliest attacks directed against civilians and civilian objects since the start of Russia’s full-scale invasion last year. The cafe itself was situated some 40 kilometres from the nearest frontline.”Yousuf Syed Khan
Khan linked the attack to what he described as Russia’s continued “use [of] starvation as a method of warfare across Ukraine.”
“We have documented several similar attacks following the same pattern, where packed community venues offering food are deliberately targeted during peak visiting hours, either to deprive residents of their sustenance value, or simply to sow and spread terror,” he said.
Moldovan President, Maia Sandu also said Moldova “vehemently condemns this yet another violent act of aggression by Russia.”
“Today—and everyday—we stand in solidarity with Ukraine,” she noted on X.
In addition, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Volker Turk, condemned the attack.
Volker Turk said that he was “shocked and saddened by today’s attack – one of the deadliest in 20 months – which struck the village of Hroza in Kharkiv region.”
“Dozens dead, including a child. Our human rights monitors will visit the site to gather information. Accountability is key,” he added.
Attack on Hroza Emphasizes Need To Support Ukraine
White House Press Secretary, Karine Jean-Pierre stated that the missile strike in Hroza underscored the need to keep supporting Kyiv against Russia.
“It is incredibly horrifying for the people of Ukraine,” Jean-Pierre told reporters.
“This is what is happening in Ukraine every day,” she said.
“This is why we’re doing everything that we can to help Ukraine,” she added.
The White House spokesperson again called on Congress to approve more aid to Ukraine.
The appeal comes after U.S House of Representatives Speaker, Kevin McCarthy, a Republican, was removed from his role amid unrest from his own party.
The issue has thrown future aid to Ukraine, which must be approved by the U.S legislature, into a limbo.
At least one legislator vying to replace McCarthy, Jim Jordan, has said he would oppose future aid under current conditions.
Majorities of both parties support more aid for Ukraine, but a flank of hardline Republicans in the House have wielded outsized influence in their opposition to more aid.
“Ultimately we believe that Congress needs to act. We need Congress to keep their promise,” Jean-Pierre said.